Student president officially censured

 

Howard Kinlay, late of The Irish Times, incurred official censure as a student leader in the 1960s. Papers released by the National Archives in Bishop Street refer to his presidency of the Union of Students in Ireland.

Declining an invitation to address a forthcoming congress, Donogh O'Malley wrote on December 20th, 1967: "While I was very happy to meet our students and address them last year, for me to do so soon again would convey the impression that a ministerial allocution was a stated or expected part of each year's proceedings."

Nonetheless, Mr Kinlay remarked in an Irish Times interview: "His relations with the student body are better than any of the Minister's predecessors . . . The most horrifying thing for a student about meeting Mr O'Malley is to discover that he talks exactly the same language. He is not afraid to appraise the system frankly, and to say where he thinks fault lies. Most encouraging of all, he is not afraid to go out on a limb to do what he feels ought to be done."

Two months later Mr O'Malley was dead.

Tony O Dalaigh, Mr O'Malley's secretary, described Mr Kinlay in a memo to the Taoiseach's private secretary as a TCD student who had "made himself the spearpoint of an anti-American campaign on the Vietnam situation and in that connection has led a picket at Iveagh House.

"Although he is president, there is strong feeling against him among students, many of them regarding his activities as Communist-inspired. In fact, he has invited the Soviet-controlled student associations of eastern Europe to send representatives to the seminar in question."

A Department of the Taoiseach memo referred to the USI publication, Nusight. "Mr Berry, Secretary of the Department of Justice, asked me to invite your attention to the paragraph headed `Skeletons in the Cupboard', which he feels refers to him. He said that, of course, there is no truth in the suggestion that any member of the Garda Siochana gets `fantastically high' expenses, nor is it true that a son of his was ever in court. Although Mr Berry is, naturally, very annoyed at the innuendos in the article, he proposes to ignore it."